Can a company truly benefit from insulting its biggest fans?

Wendy’s, the quick-service chain, has answered this question with “National Roast Day”, where it dishes out savage burns to any Twitter user who asks for one on 4th January.

In 2019, this feast of tough love yielded:

  • 101 million earned-media impressions;
  • 68.9 million Twitter impressions;
  • a 737% spike in brand mentions on the social platform.

The 2018 installment of this event also witnessed 27,000 uses of the “#NationalRoastDay” slogan by consumers, indicating a hunger for the perfect zinger among Wendy’s audience. That iteration of the campaign whetted the appetite of advertising industry professionals, too, having claimed Gold and Silver awards at the 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.